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Eddy Merckx: The Cannibal Hardcover – 22 Mar 2012
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"Excellent… filled with yarns, insights and analysis" (Word magazine)
"A compelling portriat of a driven man and his opponents" (David Connett Sunday Express)
"The transformation of Merckx the man into Merckx the deity on two wheels. A superb piece of modern history." (Outdoor Fitness)
"For a sporting icon of the stature of Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx, you would think that ... there would be very little - if anything - new to reveal. Think again... and pick up a copy of new biography Eddy Merckx, The Cannibal, by Daniel Friebe" (Sydney Morning Herald)
'The awesome story of an extraordinary athlete' Mark CavendishSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Friebe allows for competing analysis from a range of sources, those who competed against Merckx, those who rode with him and those who reported on his career. Of course it helps to know the background to each of Merckx's interactions with those who have been interviewed- obviously some come with more an an agenda and desire to protect their legacies than others, and the author does well to reflect these, without negatively impacting on the validity of their input.
One voice that is missing is Merckx himself who did not want to collaborate with the book (apart from a brief conversation detailed in the epilogue).Friebe insists this is actually more beneficial, but there is still a void there that is not filled. While a certain amount of revisionism is to be expected, I do feel that Merckx's absence is most clearly felt as Friebe attempts to deal with the controversies that surround Eddy. This is no hiagoraphy but it would be good to see what how these events are now viewed by the man himself with hindsight-to get this however the reader would need to seek out the other works Merckx did collaborate on.Read more ›
Lets just say that the author seems to have allowed his enthusiasm for the subject get the better of him. I regularly found myself losing the thread and having to go back and work out what the author was trying to say. This is why I have knocked off a star but is this such a big problem?
The stories are great and go a long way to explaining why Merckx was such a dominant force and what made him so special. I think that anyone who already knows a bit about him and wants to know more will enjoy this book. He is still a bit of an enigma but this book goes some way to explaining the enigma... a must read....
It is worth the effort to read; Daniel's evident enthusiasm makes this book good!
Some of the descriptions of Merckx battles with the likes of Ocana, De Vlaeminck, Zoetemelk, Thevenet,, Van Impe, (themselves great cyclists who would have won lots more races if Merckx had taken up football instead of cycling) are so vivid they make you want to get your bike out and put in some miles.
A great book about a truly great sportsman.
Like the book suggests. Eddy put together a number of factors that are difficult to reunite: Physical strength, psychological strength, resolve and willingness to win, all in one! A great book, an eye opener and a must have. One must do a paralel with "Half Man, Half bike", not as good. I have both.
The writer makes some compelling revelations, like how even back in the 70s drug abuse was rampant in cycling, for example 52% of the 1977 Tour De France starting line up tested positive for banned substances during their career and Merckx was also caught more than once. This book suffers from lack of personal insight and input from Merckx himself. I thought his style was clunky and messy and certainly not effective at making an unknown subject any clearer for the layman.
This isn’t a bad book, it’s clearly been thoroughly researched and benefits from some relevant interviews, all the so called drama and excitement has definitely passed me by, maybe a better grounding in the sporting politics etc would have given me that? This book certainly didn’t spike my interest in the field and it actually read as if it had been translated from another language as it just doesn’t seem to flow very well.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
the best guy to ride a bike no messing about with merckx he made the others 2nd bestPublished 1 month ago by Carol Mchale
Ok, but a bit jumpy, not a step by step guide, and assumes you are already familiar with the main events in Eddys career. Fills in the background well.Published 4 months ago by Music man
Very enjoyable read. Daniel enlivens the mythic tale with great anecdotes and observations of a peloton full of characters - a complete contrast to today's boring training camp... Read morePublished 13 months ago by sean
What a great read, had the pleasure of owning a Merckx bike, he was my hero and a real inspiration to take up cycling. Excellant bookPublished 15 months ago by Joseph bates
This struck me as a book written by a cycling enthusiast rather than a bona fide writer. He seemed so concerned with not giving a straightforward linear account of events that he... Read morePublished 15 months ago by TPR
Really good holiday read! Fascinating insight into an era I was not familiar with and to learn about Merckx's dominance from those who raced against him. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Mr Bryn Wilding